A Good Hunt…
“It is now 6:00 am. Sunrise is at 6:48. Legal shooting time is 7:18. It’s 59 degrees with a ten mile per hour wind from the Southeast. Time to wake if you’d like to hunt this morning.”
This is the usual wake-up call at the Elliott Services hunting lease in Junction, Texas. Actual, factual, and to the point. Get up if you’d like to hunt. Roll over if you’re going back to sleep. The choice is yours. Life is about choices.
Last Saturday, the opening weekend of youth whitetail deer hunting season, rolling back over was not an option. A first deer was being hunted. In actuality, we didn’t even get to hear the normal wake up speech, as we were bunking with the lease manager (Parker’s grand-dad, Sir) and awoke at the sound of Sir’s alarm. If only my son would wake this easily on school days.
After getting dressed, we groggily scarfed a couple of frosted, processed breakfast snacks. We grabbed our guns, ammo, binoculars, a coffee to go, and headed for a stand. This particular lease has at least a dozen blinds and the “best”is ever changing. We flipped a coin and headed off to Six North with the optimism and excitement that many of us older hunters lose through the years.
We got situated in the blind a little before sun up, our only hiccup being that we forgot to bring a second chair. No worries, though, as we had a cooler along that was a perfect bench height. As the sun started to rise, we were ready to hunt.
For a good thirty minutes, Parker stared at the feeder with intent. Nothing came. Eventually, he grew weary and picked up his library book that I made him bring along. We were relatively quiet if you didn’t count my allergy problems, some page turning, and the occasional kicking of the ice-chest or blind. Still, nothing came.
By the time the feeder was supposed to go off, the temperature had dropped and Parker asked if he could sit in my lap for warmth. He was chattering a bit and I obliged. We started to visit, as there was still nothing moving. The feeder was fifteen minutes late and probably not throwing corn this morning. We talked about dove and deer and school. We decided that we needed a crossbow. And more ammo. We discussed our World Series bet and Halloween and his sister’s birthday coming up. Eventually, we decided it was time to go get some real breakfast and shoot .22s. We left the blind by 8:30 am.
Regardless, we had a pretty good hunt. That first deer will wander out someday. Until then, we’ll keep hunting. Together.
Until next week, keep smiling.